Department: Office of General Counsel
Classification (Payroll Title): EDUC Prog Director 2
Position Number: 01005771
Reports to: Rachel Suppé, Deputy General Counsel
Anticipated Salary Range: Commensurate with Experience
Last Revised Date: 6/20/22
Location Notes: Tennessee Department of Education, 710 James Robertson Parkway Nashville, TN 37243 (currently remote)
Department of Education Vision: We will set all students on a path to success.
Priorities: Academics: All Tennessee students will have access to a high quality education, no matter where they live. · Student Readiness: Tennessee public schools will be equipped to serve the academic and non-academic needs of all students. · Educators: Tennessee will set a new path for the education profession and be the top state to become and remain a teacher and leader.
Position Summary: The special education attorney is responsible for ensuring departmental compliance with federal and state special education law, including the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). To ensure that the department meets its supervision and monitoring obligations under the IDEA, the special education attorney provides legal advice and support on special education issues to others in the department as well as the Achievement School District and the state special schools. In particular, the special education attorney shall conduct rigorous investigations of IDEA administrative complaints and serve as a resource to local educational agencies by providing guidance on applicable laws and regulations and answering generalized legal questions.
· Graduation from an accredited four-year college or university, Juris Doctorate, and license to practice law in Tennessee
· At least one (1) year of experience in in legal practice, including experience with special education law.
1. Conduct rigorous investigations of IDEA administrative complaints by interviewing witnesses, drafting investigative summaries of findings, and creating, as needed, corrective action plans (CAPs) aimed at remedying student-specific and/or systemic school district noncompliance.
2. Ensure department and school district compliance with federal and state special education laws.
3. Provide legal advice and support to the department and state-run schools on special education issues.
4. Provide legal guidance to local educational agencies on special education issues.
5. Respond to special education legal inquiries, concerns, and requests for technical assistance from parents, advocacy groups, school districts, and other key stakeholders.
6. Provide in-person or virtual trainings on the subject of special education law to school districts, as well as at special education related conferences.
7. Develop educational resources and written materials for parents, advocacy groups, school districts, and other key stakeholders regarding compliance with special education law.
8. Represent the department in IDEA due process complaints brought against the department regarding the provision of special education and related services by drafting and filing pleadings, conducting oral and written discovery, and engaging in oral argument at administrative hearings.
9. Follow national litigation trends related to special education and providing the Department and school districts with relevant analysis and guidance.
10. Interpret applicable law and conducting legal research and drafting memoranda aimed at ensuring the department and school districts compliance with special education law as requested.
Knowledge, Skills, & Abilities
· Special Education Experience. The special education attorney must have experience with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Experience with state special education law, the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504 of Rehabilitation Act of 1973 preferred.
· Legal Research. The special education attorney must know how to perform legal research.
· Investigative Skills. The special education attorney must be able to interview witnesses, synthesize facts, apply relevant law, draft conclusions of law, and draft corrective action plans, as needed.
The duties will primarily be carried out indoors, in environmentally controlled conditions. The employee will be required to perform general physical abilities and handle and move objects.
Physical demands include walking, standing, bending, lifting, climbing stairs, and moving during working hours.
Position Type and Expected Hours of Work
This is a full-time position. Expected work hours are 37.5 hours per week, with an hour lunch break.
0-5% Travel Required
Please note this job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for their job. Duties, responsibilities, and activities may change at any time with or without notice.
Please send resume, cover letter, and contact information for three professional references to: Kristen.B.McKeever@tn.gov by July 20, 2022.Pursuant to the State of Tennessee’s Workplace Discrimination and Harassment policy, the State is firmly committed to the principle of fair and equal employment opportunities for its citizens and strives to protect the rights and opportunities of all people to seek, obtain, and hold employment without being subjected to illegal discrimination and harassment in the workplace. It is the State’s policy to provide an environment free of discrimination and harassment of an individual because of that person’s race, color, national origin, age (40 and over), sex, pregnancy, religion, creed, disability, veteran’s status or any other category protected by state and/or federal civil rights laws.
Tennessee Department of Education also provides reasonable accommodations to qualified applicants and employees with disabilities. If you need an accommodation during the application process, please contact the Tennessee Department of Education, Attn: Human Resources Division, 710 James Robertson Pkwy., Nashville, TN 37243.